Procurement Contests Review by Jon Hansen

Posted on August 28, 2013


When I read Alastair Merrill’s post from earlier today regarding the new European Procurement Directives that are likely to be adopted this autumn, there were many points that were notable. One of the changes that caught my attention was Alastair’s reference to innovation partnerships.

In and of itself, the concept of leveraging private sector expertise and resources to develop goods, services or works that cannot be met by solutions already available on the market, is nothing new. That being said it is the priority that the Directives are expected to give to the development of innovative solutions in a long term partnership between a public body and a supplier that is noteworthy.

In this context, I thought that it would a good idea to revisit a series of posts I wrote for the Procurement Insights blog back in 2011 regarding Procurement Contests to determine what if any elements of what is being done here in North America will find its way overseas.

The basic idea of a procurement contest — sometimes called a prize or challenge — is to set out a performance requirement for a capability that needs development work and offer a prize, usually money, for the first or best entity to produce a product or capability meeting the requirement.

from the Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech August 15th, 2011 article Procurement contests pooh-poohed by an unlikely source

In this 3-Part Series I examine the procurement contest concept in greater detail, including citing actual case study examples such as the one involving Denver, Colorado-based Alpine Energy Group which spent four years and I am certain a great deal of money to walk away empty handed from a government incineration project right here in my own backyard.

Are procurement contests a viable (and equitable) acquisition tool for the government? After reading the posts let me know what you think?

September 1st, 2011 – Part 3 (Government procurement contests (Part 3): A question of (IP) ownership)

August 31st, 2011 – Part 2 (Government procurement contests (Part 2): When innovative ideas collide . . .)

August 30th, 2011 – Part 1 (Are procurement contests just another way for government to pass the innovation buck to a preferred outside vendor?)

EU logo 4b globe

Click to read Alastair Merrill's post . . .

Click to read Alastair Merrill’s post . . .